Widespread access and use of the ICT remains a crucial driver for further integration in the Asia-Pacific region, and will help bridge the digital divide, increase trade opportunities and improve supply chains, according to a roadmap included in the St. Petersburg Declaration adopted at the end of a ministerial meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum.
To that end, the ministers urged the APEC Telecommunications and Information Working Group to focus on developing the ICT, enhancing socio-economic activities through the ICT, promoting a safe and trusted ICT environment, and strengthening cooperation in the ICT sector.
The working group is tasked with spearheading this effort as part of APEC’s 2010-2015 Telecommunications Strategic Action Plan, which is designed to generate concrete initiatives that can improve cyber security to achieve members’ shared ICT objectives.
Information technologies are crucial to boosting economic growth in the 21st century’s global economy, said Nikolay Nikiforov, minister of Telecom and Mass Communications of Russia, who chaired the 9th APEC Telecommunications and Information Ministerial Meeting.
“Year by year, we witness an increase in globalization and in the influence of information and communications technologies on world economic development,” Nikiforov said.
“These technologies can decrease transaction costs related to the search and exchange of information and provide additional capacities for economic growth,” Nikiforov said.
The results of the ministerial meeting will be submitted to the 2012 APEC Leaders’ Meeting in Vladivostok on Sept. 8-9.